From the Spagna stop, we took the metro to Ottaviano, 3 stops away for our visit to the Vatican City, our final itinerary. The metro was quite crowded and the majority of the passengers were heading towards the Vatican. We will only be visiting the grounds of the Vatican as we will be returning to Florence right after this.
Vatican City is an independent state, the seat of the Pope who heads the worldwide Catholic Church. Although the Vatican is a state, it is entirely surrounded by the city of Rome as it is being the world’s smallest state.
Once at the grounds of the Vatican, we walked among the columns of pillars (for the shade) surrounding St Peter’s square and later onto the square itself. On the square ground, there is an Egyptian obelisk and a granite fountain. From here, which is about the center of the square, the entrance to St Peter’s Basilica is visible. What cannot be seen back in 1985, I now see huge crowds lining up to enter the basilica. Back then, no tickets, no crowds … you just walk into St Peter’s basilica.
What the Vatican looks back in summer 1985.
Almost nobody on the grounds of St Peter’s square. No crowds, no tickets required. Walk right into St Peter’s basilica and there isn’t many people in there too. You can then proceed to the Sistine chapel.